Legislative Affairs

Arizona State Capitol and House of Representatives

Environmental Quality Bills of the 2017 Arizona State Legislative Session

 

The 2017 Legislative Session has ended and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is pleased to announce that the session was beneficial in helping further our mission to protect and enhance public health and the environment by facilitating environmentally responsible economic growth, enhancing Arizona's unique environment, and accelerating clean-ups.

ADEQ's budget:

  • continues to save money for Arizonans subject to Vehicle Emissions Inspections (VEI) by keeping the fees the same;
  • appropriates $13.5 million to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF);
  • provides $3.2 million to continue myDEQ implementation to make permitting easier and faster for customers, while being equally protective of the environment, and;
  • establishes the Safe Drinking Water Program Fund with $1.8 million from water use taxes, the remainder of which goes to WQARF.

ADEQ Bills

H2094 | Small Water Systems Fund Uses

Last year, the Legislature reaffirmed the importance of safe drinking water throughout Arizona and budgeted $500,000 to be used for projects to help small drinking water systems return to compliance. This year, the Small Drinking Water Systems Fund was expanded to provide regular and emergency grants to owners of small drinking water systems, as well as system managers or operators. Additionally, the requirement for interim water system managers or operators to be appointed by the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to receive grants was removed. The grants were also expanded to include upgrading water infrastructure to comply with statute or rule.

While the oversight of the Small Drinking Water Systems Fund has been moved to the Water Infrastructure Funding Authority (WIFA), ADEQ is required to make grant recommendations to WIFA and certify the direct public benefit of the grant and that the disbursement of monies is in the best interest of the state.

These changes will allow almost all of the small drinking water systems, including small municipalities and drinking water improvement districts, which currently are unable to serve water at safe drinking water standards to qualify for the grants to make the improvements to their systems so they can serve safe drinking water.

H2131 | Air Quality Compliance

In 2014, several amendments to VEI's program were conditionally enacted, but were to sunset this year if not approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These amendments allowed the use of onboard diagnostics to test motor vehicles equipped with an onboard diagnostic system. They also exempted vehicles not in use and owned by out-of-state military personnel from emissions testing, and they removed the catalytic efficiency test in "Area A." This bill extends the conditional enactment of these amendments until July 1, 2020 to provide time for ADEQ to include the changes in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) and submit and receive approval from EPA.

In accordance with the Clean Air Act, the Compliance Advisory Panel of the Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Program was made permanent.